Men’s volleyball to search for win against Stanford

first_img“[Fans] can expect us to exhibit that we’re learning,” Nygaard said. “We’re still bought in, we’re still the brotherhood, we’re gonna go out there and represent ourselves with our chins held high and our chests out and our shoulders back.” Although Stanford poses a significant challenge Thursday, USC will face an even bigger test this weekend as it stays on the road Saturday to face off against No. 2 Brigham Young, which has stayed undefeated after victories over Grand Canyon University, No. 8 Pepperdine, No. 7 UCLA and No. 3 UCSB. Although the team has gone through a big change in player leadership, Nygaard emphasized the importance of growth and learning to mature — win or lose. With so many players on the roster graduating after last year’s strong campaign, the Trojans have struggled to find their rhythm throughout the season. With less experience has come more difficulties, as the roster now consists of only one senior and 15 underclassmen.  Although USC holds a 66-34 all-time record against Stanford, the Trojans will head into the match as underdogs with an overall record of 3-11. Still, the Trojans look to continue developing against the No. 12 team. The USC men’s volleyball team is looking to snap its five-game losing streak Thursday as it faces No. 12 Stanford at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif. Going into the second consecutive week of MPSF matches, the Trojans remain winless within the conference at 0-4 while Stanford is coming off two straight losses to No. 1 Hawaii.  Thursday’s match with Stanford will begin at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s battle with BYU in Provo, Utah will start at 6 p.m. “They’re still bought in, they’re still going hard, they’re still learning,” Nygaard said. “We recognize where we’re at, we recognize what we need to get better at and they’re willing to do it. The brotherhood is like — there’s no quit here.” “There’s only one way to learn under the lights,” Nygaard said. “And that’s to be under the lights and do it.” USC men’s volleyball’s young talent has not been able to meet previous success after the team lost most of its veterans last season. (Ling Luo | Daily Trojan) Joe Skinner contributed to this report. Despite the subpar start, the Trojans have seen some bright spots this season. The team has proven to be very strong at the net, averaging 12.2 kills per set. Sophomore outside and opposite hitter Billy Fauntleroy leads the team with 2.91 kills per set and 3.29 points per set.  “Last year’s team, when we played against Lewis, of the 96 points we scored, 93 of them were by the three starting pins from last year that graduated,” head coach Jeff Nygaard said. “What’s happening is that guys are learning to play under the lights. Guys are learning how to apply a game plan.” Nygaard said that the team’s motto was “brotherhood” and that the Trojans have focused on it through the struggles. The largest discrepancy between USC and Stanford seems to be in blocking: USC averages 1.3 blocks per set with opponents averaging 2.7 blocks per set, while Stanford averages 2.2 blocks per set with opponents averaging 2.1. last_img

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